My firstborn recently enjoyed turning 19. So we celebrated with a birthday dinner at Grandma’s home, where he is living. He has his papers in and we are awaiting his mission call. I am in a little disbelief that my time as a missionary mom is almost here. I am very grateful that he’s willing and worthy to go on a mission.
I am also rejoicing that he’s also very smart and a hard worker. He got a huge compliment last week. It all started with some announcements he made on Facebook, “I’ve now been at work for 34 hours straight.” Then the next day it was “Been at work for 42 hours, now time to go home.” Of course the mother in me was worried. He’s living away from home, over an hour away, in Provo. I messaged him to ask what was going on and he said that he had a deadline at work for his team to meet. Right now he’s working at a software company full-time as a computer programmer. He had a year of college last year and ever since the winter semester ended in May he’s had this job.
Here he is a year ago trying out for the Andau Character prize, which he won. It gave him a full-year’s tuition scholarship to George Wythe College.
So after his long stint at work, including at least one all-nighter, maybe two, he got to go home and rest. He was going to stay home from work on Friday, since he had already put in his 40 hours. He had promised his grandmother he would do yard work for her on Friday.
But his boss heard about his plans and said, “No, you are too valuable of an employee, please come to work.” Then the boss sent the boss’s younger brother and the brother’s girlfriend over to Grandma’s house to do the yard work.
Here we are gathered for my son’s birthday, except for one of my sons, who stayed home with an illness. I am sorry about the lack of focus in the picture. My 12 yr old niece took the picture and I wish I had asked for a retake!
That is music to a mother’s ears, especially my homeschooling mom ears. This is the sweet fruit of self-education. My son has not had a formal class on computer programming. He completely taught himself to do it, learning from podcasts and books and tinkering on his own. Growing up, every time he was doing his chores, he always had earbuds in, learning about programming. He has always been my right-hand technical man whenever I had questions about how to make this web site or use my cell phone, LOL. He was the one who put up the downloads on this web site. When he did his Thomas Jefferson Youth Certification final paper, it was about computers, specifically, how open source software moves the cause of liberty.
I am especially rejoicing that he got this job, because a year ago at this time, he was looking and looking in Cedar City while going to college and could not find a part-time job. He ended up taking a full-time job answering the phone for customer service. Working full-time and being a full-time student is hard! Eventually he saved up enough money that he could quit the job before the school year was over.
My son asked for his favorite dish of chilaquiles, or Mexican lasagna. It is really easy. Just layer tortillas, cooked beans, salsa, sour cream, cheese, and green onions and bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted. You could also add corn or grated zucchini.
I am so happy for him! I feel this is the sweet fruit of his leadership education, which I call stewardship education. Back at the Moms’ Retreat I attended in August I got involved in a conversation at midnight with some moms about what leadership education, aka Thomas Jefferson Education, really is. I got the feeling that some felt it wasn’t based enough on God or what the Spirit is telling them to do with their children. But that is really what it is all about. It is about educating yourself and your family to believe that their life and mission belong to God, so that they will turn their life over to God and allow Him to direct them.
For example,during the end of my son’s last homeschooling year he started feeling that he should not go to BYU, where had had received a scholarship, but that he should go to George Wythe College. He applied for the Andau, and while he was waiting to try out for it, he prayed and felt the Spirit tell him that he should tell BYU that he didn’t want the scholarship, so that he would have a “vacuum” or hole to attract the Andau Scholarship, which is just for going to GWC. He wanted to commit all his energy to going to George Wythe. That is what he did, unbeknownst to me.
I can now see the fruits of this decision. If he had gone to BYU, he still would have needed to have a job to pay for his living expenses. He would have easily gotten a job, since BYU has plenty of on-campus jobs, but it probably would have been a job that did not involve programming, his first love. It was going to GWC that led him to find and apply for the programming job. This programming job is giving him lots of time to build his skills and knowledge. The company is great to work for, his boss has given him two raises and as a bonus is buying him a suit for his mission. He is working at a job where his not just trading time for money but he’s improving his skills and growing his passion.
So three cheers for leadership education/self-education/stewardship education!
To help me feel inspired for the new academic year, I’ve been reviewing an ebook that is all about self-education. It is Momessentials Jenni’s Stories & Education. In this ebook, Jenni Wilson, of Momessentials gives delightful examples of self-education. Jenni shares her family’s homeschooling journey of following the Thomas Jefferson Education philosophy, which is all about self-education and stewardship education. I am giving away a copy of this ebook. Please comment below if you are interested in winning. I will do the drawing for the giveaway on Wednesday evening October 10, around 7 PM MT.